After you’ve done the writing and you’re happy with what it says, I dash in to proofread: a final check and tidy. A last pair of eyes before your audience sees the writing.
As proofreader, I will
- check style of headings and references, spellings and hyphenation is consistent
- make sure punctuation is consistent (whether American or British)
- check the writing follows your style and/or house style
- make sure the writing sticks to your voice
- use Track Changes in Word, so you can see what I’ve done
I’ll give every word and sentence, caption, heading and image a final polish, so they look spic and span for your reader.
Below is an the example of copy before and after I’ve proofread it.
Can you spot the difference?
Most of my clients are experts in their own field, often with decades of knowledge, but getting that knowledge on to paper isn’t always very easy. Especially if English isn’t your first language.
During a proofread, I change as little as possible in making the voice consistent and the content readable for the chosen audience.
So I wade in with my red to do this:
Often writing doesn’t need lots of changes, but a few tweaks here and there make it a much easier read.
The client turns off the Tracked Changes in the Word doc, et voila!, a clean page, ready to use:
I’ll admit, there are times I would like to just rewrite the whole thing, but this isn’t about me, it’s about what the client wants, so the aim is for the client to sound how they want to sound (not how I want them to sound!).